Think about all the great pairings in the world. Chocolate and peanut butter. Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. Cookies and milk. The holidays and A Christmas Carol.
Whether you love or hate the classic Dickens tale, it’s one of the most quintessential parts of the holiday season. With the overwhelming number of A Christmas Carol adaptations on TV, in movies or on stage, it’s easy to just say “Bah, Humbug” to all of them.
But the Alliance Theatre has a one-of-a-kind production that should emerge as the event of the season. And here are five reasons why:
1) Historic Final Year
All good things must come to an end, and this performance of A Christmas Carol is no exception. After 27 years on the Alliance Stage, this particular adaptation will be in a new location next year before retiring from the Alliance season. A new version of the Dickens classic by the same author will premiere back at the Woodruff Arts Center in 2018. So whether you are new to this Atlanta tradition, or you drop in every year, this is your last chance to see what has captivated audiences for decades.
3) David de Vries as Scrooge
Returning in the starring role of Ebenezer Scrooge for the third year in a row is celebrated actor, David de Vries. With professional credits as Lumiere in Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast and Dr. Dillamond in the national tour of Wicked, de Vries definitely proves has the chops to carry the iconic role, previously portrayed by the talented Chris Kayser (now in the role of Scrooge’s deceased business partner, Jacob Marley) . The transformation from cold-hearted miser to giddy philanthropist is a fruitful and captivating journey, indeed.
3) The Set and Special Effects
Two trap doors, a fly system, levitation track and lots of snow. These are just a few of the whimsical effects of “A Christmas Carol.” The set, designed by D Martyn Bookwalter, is a hoarder’s paradise, with grand archways and various bookshelves, furniture and knick-knacks strewn across the stage. All are illustrations of the things Scrooge had “stolen” from others over the years.
4) The Ensemble
Starring alongside David de Vries are a group of strong performers, each with their own memorable roles on stage. Wendell Brock from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says it best: “For now, let us bask in the splendors before us: the creme de la creme of the Atlanta theater community all tied up here under one big bow.” Feel the love and longing for connection from the heart of Scrooge’s nephew Fred (played by Joe Knezevich). Become swept away with the courting of young Scrooge (Lowrey Brown) to Belle (Ann Marie Gideon). Laugh out loud with Mrs. Dilber’s (Je Nie Flemming) qualms about her grumpy, old client. Rejoice in the cheery nature of little Tiny Tim (Marco Schittone).
5) The Music
“God rest ye merry gentleman, let nothing you dismay…” The holiday season produces a multitude of both haunting and joyful carols. In this production, director Rosemary Newcott creatively integrates story and song throughout the show to generate a unique atmosphere. And if you can’t resist singing yourself, there may be a few occasions to show off your pipes!
As the end of December looms nearer, tickets for the show will become scarcer, so do not miss your last chance to see this Atlanta tradition!